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Your Color / Edit Suite (with windows, sunshine, and life!)

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Jim Klatt
Your Color / Edit Suite (with windows, sunshine, and life!)
on Jan 14, 2014 at 9:47:30 pm

So. I am interested in the color suites that you have created for yourselves.

Anybody out there have a room that has real sunshine coming through real windows? Most of the color suites I have been in or see online are dark dungeons. It is very depressing to conceive of going back into the dungeon to sit in a chair for the majority of each workday, just staring at screens.

(If you actually proposed this scenario to someone when they were younger, they would probably think of it as some form of punishment or banishment, unless they were the sort who liked playing videogames in a dark basement.)

I know what you are going to say. You are going to say that correcting and grading requires a visual environment that is balanced, consistent, and neutral. I totally understand. It is a serious matter and it makes sense. There is no reason to hinder our ability to be confident in our grading.

But let's just say that there was a 3rd solution. One that allowed for lights to be turned down and windows to be closed when need be to make sure everything was accurate and where you wanted it to be.

I would certainly sacrifice an extra hour per day of doing a final check with the lights down if I knew that I could do my work in an environment where plants could thrive, sunlight could inspire, and skin could absorb Vitamin D.

I also know a standing desk is much healthier for breathing, circulation, posture and our nervous system.

Anyway, I am done rambling. Maybe you already have these things? If so, I'd love to see or hear about them. I think it is time to evolve to a healthier work environment for colorist, editors, and visual fx folk.
We'd be happier, more productive, and healthier.


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Todd Gill
Re: Your Color / Edit Suite (with windows, sunshine, and life!)
on Jan 15, 2014 at 1:50:01 pm

Jim,

I work in my office at my house. I have a window that gets sunlight.

What I have done is, I have black out curtains, That help keep any sunlight from coming in, when needed. My office is painted 18% gray.I also have a ideal-lume pro light behind my grading monitor. So I have a functioning grading suite when needed and a office with a view...when needed. It can function as both.

Todd Gill
Editor.Colorist
Digital Post Ink
http://www.digitalpostink.com


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Juan Salvo
Re: Your Color / Edit Suite (with windows, sunshine, and life!)
on Jan 15, 2014 at 5:04:36 pm

[Todd Gill] "It can function as both."

But critically, not at the same time. :)

http://JuanSalvo.com
http://theColourSpace.com


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Joseph Owens
Re: Your Color / Edit Suite (with windows, sunshine, and life!)
on Jan 15, 2014 at 4:37:55 pm

[Jim Klatt] "let's just say that there was a 3rd solution. One that allowed for lights to be turned down and windows to be closed when need be to make sure everything was accurate and where you wanted it to be.
I would certainly sacrifice an extra hour per day of doing a final check with the lights down if I knew that I could do my work in an environment where plants could thrive,"


Lovely fantasy, but a case of wanting your cake and eating it, too. Grading with the windows open and the blinds up would be the shortest distance to doing it all over again that I can think of, and probably not just a matter of a little tweak here and there. Your black point, gain and contrast will be -- literally -- out the window. Especially with current reflective solid-state monitors being the way they are. Its hard enough getting that right even under draconian environmental control.

My plants do very well (maybe even a little bit too well) in my administrative office just off the grade suite, where I retire every once in a while to catch up on correspondence, take a breather, let the machine take care of some business, see what kind of day it is, what the hot topics are for today on the COW... I have an east-facing floor-to-ceiling glass wall, plus skylight, so a tonne of natural daylight... but because it comes in through glass, obviously there is no Vitamin-D stimulating UVA or B. For that, I have to walk up the street, but luckily there is an Italian bakery about 5 minutes away, who make a killer latte for two bucks (way way way better than the Mermaid people), but if you want a cannoli, you better get there early.

Maybe what you are trying to achieve is akin to the Japanese concept of shibui, the studied elegance of apparent casualness, which is anything but, and this is the work environment that you are trying to establish. There are other means to avoid the techno-man-cave dungeon... but if I really wanted to be sipping little fruity drinks with umbrellas on a tropical beach, I wouldn't be trying to do that in my work place. People get the wrong impression.

jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.


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Eric Hansen
Re: Your Color / Edit Suite (with windows, sunshine, and life!)
on Jan 15, 2014 at 5:15:14 pm

If it's possible, try to make your grading suite and your office separate. This worked at the last facility I was at. I could pop out of the suite and do post producer stuff in my bright office or sometimes the conference room with large windows. It leaves time for something to render, or for an assistant or editor to work in the suite, while you take care of all the other stuff a working colorist needs to do.

If it's an all-in-one, like I have now, I second the black-out curtains. just make sure to control the light spill. And check out plants like bamboo that don't need much light.

e

Eric Hansen
Production Workflow Designer / Consultant / Colorist / DIT
http://www.erichansen.tv


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Chris Hall
Re: Your Color / Edit Suite (with windows, sunshine, and life!)
on Jan 15, 2014 at 6:15:36 pm

This was my office for a year and a half before I moved into a theater full time. The desk is sit/stand which was wonderful (and my back never felt better for that time), but notice how it had to be behind the client couch. Only negative there was the clients could see noise detail better than I could on the 55" plasma... but all in all the solution worked well for me. There are no windows and the lights are dimmed way up in the picture obviously (and for those of you who like to complain yes the wall is 18% gray and yes there was a light behind the plasma balanced for reference white, its just not on... blah blah blah). I don't think you can have your cake and eat it too with daylight, you'll generally end up grading way too bright and without enough contrast if your display is set for 35 foot Lamberts... try it sometime, I have many times, never works right when viewed afterwards in a different environment (especially on dark content).

I think its the cave or bust for us colorists, alas. Just remember to take a walk outside every 2 hours or so during a heavy grading session (most say you should do it every hour, but good look with that with nervous clients). Helps reset the old eyes as well : )



Chris Hall
Colorist - Prehistoric Digital
Santa Monica, CA


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Eric Johnson
Re: Your Color / Edit Suite (with windows, sunshine, and life!)
on Jan 15, 2014 at 7:58:15 pm

Nice room!

eric b johnson
online editor | colorist | workflow


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Eric Hansen
Re: Your Color / Edit Suite (with windows, sunshine, and life!)
on Jan 15, 2014 at 8:09:09 pm

awesome room Chris. I had a similar one at Brain Farm with projection, complete with standing desk, but more often than not the directors would sit back with me and not on the couch. It was better for them because they could see what I was manipulating on the board, and see the power windows on the GUI. Sitting at the couch, they didn't know what I was doing back there, and would ask things like, 'did you change it'? Plus, many of them liked geeking out and learning more about the color process. So we built a new room that's smaller with one large central grading monitor that everyone looks at, and now just use the theater for screenings.

e

Eric Hansen
Production Workflow Designer / Consultant / Colorist / DIT
http://www.erichansen.tv


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Jim Klatt
Re: Your Color / Edit Suite (with windows, sunshine, and life!)
on Jan 15, 2014 at 8:23:35 pm

I appreciate all of your responses, and I love seeing photos of your setups! Thank you. Keep 'em coming if you want to share.

I realize that I am wanting my cake and eating it too. I suppose the light wouldn't have to be hitting me. The psychological advantage of a single, peripheral window where I could see the outside would probably be enough to keep me sane.

Is anyone able to use a setup where the lights are not at theater-dark levels?


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Juan Salvo
Re: Your Color / Edit Suite (with windows, sunshine, and life!)
on Jan 15, 2014 at 10:19:06 pm
Last Edited By Juan Salvo on Jan 15, 2014 at 11:23:19 pm

[Jim Klatt] " would probably be enough to keep me sane."


If you want to stay sane, you're probably in the wrong line of work. ;)

http://JuanSalvo.com
http://theColourSpace.com


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